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April 2008 Club News

Old Bike Week Ride

The Old Bike Week Trip took place this year throughout the South West with 20 bikes taking part and members joining from all parts of WA. Clive and John having rode down from Perth on their bikes to join us at the start in Albany, and apart from one wet afternoon the weather was perfect.

We rode through Denmark and Walpole, stopping for coffee before pulling over at the Northcliffe turn-off. There Reg was having trouble with a sticky throttle slide and decided to put it on the trailer, fixing the problem in Northcliffe. Jim was also having trouble with his BMW at low speed - it was diagnosed later that day as a loose mixture screw!

Water bottle Suzuki still bubbling along
The bush campsite was great with good amenities including a campers kitchen. It also included plenty of kangaroos which were very tame. We had a pleasant night under the stars, chatting, laughing, eating and drinking - which was to become a nightly event. Next morning Bob and Mary turned up for a visit on their BMW from Boyup Brook. We were then asked by the caravan park owners if we could line the bikes up for a photo shoot for the local paper.

We then headed to Pemberton, plenty of other riders were about taking advantage of the great roads and weather. The plan was to take the back roads to Manjimup before heading for Donnelly River and Nannup. Most took the back road to Manjimup, with some missing the turning - but we all turned up in Manjimup. Morning tea was followed by a ride to Donnelly River (where Bob & Mary left us) and onto Nannup - Again great roads, although a little bumpy into Donnelly River itself.

Nannup is like a motorcycle mecca these days and after an extended lunch, where Des and Betty turned up we continued onto Busselton. We were camping in what was voted the Best Caravan Park in WA last year, and it certainly looked it too with brilliant amenities. The one partner of the caravan park was very friendly even giving us a couple of large packets of sausages and bread for a free dinner.

Fuel must have leaked out...Ron Henzen was already camped there and Des turned up on his BSA chopper - a fine looking machine. Next morning we headed off for Canal Rocks along Caves Road. Reg was having a bit of trouble with a leaky petrol tank and decided to return to camp and fix it with help from son David (riding a ‘55 BMW).

By now we had decided to “Mark the Corners” so as not to lose anyone. After a while this system worked very well. The second rider would stop and mark the (turn-off) corner and wait till the last rider or vehicle appeared before he rejoined the group. We then headed for Prevelly Beach for coffee before heading inland and up to Terry Germain’s place for a sausage sizzle and stickybeak.

I was leading the group and got a little confused with Glen Rosa and Rosa Glen Roads, hence I did a right instead of a left and we ended riding down some very corrugated dirt road. After a few kms I thought,  “This has got to be wrong”, had a look at the map and realised my mistake. In the meantime Clive and Daniel had ridden past shouting something about “Great roads!”

We turned back - except for John who was going to wait for the pair’s return. It then started to sprinkle and then rain, which was a shame as the road we were on was brilliant - it runs parallel to the Bussell Hwy but inland. We were made very welcome by Terry Germain and his mate with coffee/tea on and the sausage sizzle in full swing. $5 a head and the money going to charity.

David and Ron arrived with Reg who had his tank to fix it in Terry’s shed. John arrived shortly after - but no Clive or Daniel who had decided to take a different route entirely. After a good look around the ‘Bunker’ and filling our stomachs we headed back to camp. Thanks Terry for your hospitality.

The rain had eased a little by now, but it continued to drizzle for the rest of the evening so table tennis and soccer were played in earnest in the games room. Next day the weather had cleared and we set off to Busselton regrouping at the jetty, where the local constabulary came over for a chat about old bikes.

Ron Henzen’s Suzuki starter motor was not turning and with the kick starter shaft not in the best of shape push starting a bike towing a trailer isn’t a good idea. So Ron decided to head for home, managing to kick it over and eventually arriving home safely.

Beautiful BSA singleColin luckily had discovered a missing clip on his chain link, and was able to replace it straight away, picking up another spare at the local bike shop. We then rode through the Tuart Forest to Capel before heading into Donnybrook. The roads were fabulous, and these continued as we took the back roads to Kirup before crossing the South West Highway taking more back roads to Lowden and Gnomesville. The corner system was by now working extremely well. It was then onto Dardanup for lunch - it used to be a very biker friendly pub, but I’m not so sure these days - we then headed to Brunswick Junction.

The caravan park was in stark contrast to Busselton, no campers kitchen and old fashion toilets, together with high site fees, although no regulations. On the plus side the camping site looked brilliant lush deep grass, shady trees and right on a weir - very picturesque. On the negative side, it was right next to a railway track - and those trains can be bloody noisy!

Still you got to take it as it comes, and I thought our crowd were great taking the good with the bad in good spirits. By now Huw and Elina had arrived on the R90S. I must admit though by the end of the second day I was starting to get used to the trains etc and quite enjoyed the place, although I don’t think we’ll be going back.

Colin had arranged for a roast dinner for us all at the local pub (which was only just across the road) - now this was absolutely brilliant, and only $15. The pub really looked after us, and even though they normally don’t cook, asked if the next night we would like them to put on a BBQ for $13! This turned out to be exceptional, a huge steak, heaps of good quality salad followed by a huge serving of apple pie, cream and ice cream - yum!

Ian and Heather, who now live in the area, came over a couple of times to visit, as well as joining us for the BBQ. Also Yvonne Hinckley and Jan Jackson arrived from Albany to join us for the last couple of nights.
Wednesday morning we headed off on a ride to Wellington Dam, Collie more back roads and return.

Unfortunately Chris’ Sunbeam lost power, eventually stopping. We told the rest of the group to carry on and I returned to camp for the car and trailer to put the bike on. After lunch in Collie we decided to carry on with the route the group was taking, which was lucky as Garry was having trouble with the AJS and that ended up on the trailer as well. Ralph also needed some fuel from the back-up trailer too. We all eventually returned to camp for a few beers before heading back to the pub for the BBQ.

Des and Betty also headed for home with the DKW having a few mechanical problems which have since been fixed. Next day was more or less a free day, although most went for a ride to Dwellingup (where Clive and John carried onto Perth), some headed into Bunbury. Daniel decided to give the Ariel a rest and I thought I’d have a go at getting the Sunbeam going hoping it was just tappet adjustment as there was spark and fuel and the timing was OK. It took us most of the (leisurely) day to decide it was a blown head gasket between the two cylinders, brilliantly deducted by Daniel and an air compressor hose.

The AJS had rattle and it was decided to leave it on the trailer. On the plus side it was a beautiful day for lazing under the shade of the tree mucking around with bikes - the place is definitely growing on me (But I wouldn’t stay there again ha ha). David had a bit of trouble as well with the R50 BMW’s valve clearances closing. Ron adjusted the valves on his Triumph as well.

When the rest came back it was time for a few beers sitting on the grass before Phil and Daniel brought our take-away pizzas from the pub, very nice. That night I didn’t hear any trains!

During one of the rides Ronnie was hit by a kookaburra which was stuck upside down in his arm before it decided to fly away in a dazed state - the bird that is, not Ronnie.

Friday we set off to Lowden before taking the road to Boyanup and then Bridgetown - lovely road. The caravan park at Bridgetown was very friendly, only charging $6 a head, they had a campers kitchen and we decided to chip in and have a shared BBQ, this was $5 a head - a cheap stay and the BBQ was beautifully cooked by John Barber and the salads prepared by the ladies. We were also joined in the campers kitchen by hundreds of creepy crawlies, whatever the things were, they had invaded Bridgetown and every time it rained they came out.

The next day most were up early for the ride home. We returned via Tone River, Frankland and Mt Barker.
A small group had come out from Albany to meet us but unfortunately the timing wasn’t quite right and we sort of missed each other - shame, but the thought was there. The weather had been extremely kind to us all week as most of WA had some heavy downpours. We had missed all of it basking in sunshine and good temperatures, except for the one afternoon, even coming home there was a line of black cloud and we were sitting on the edge of it missing all the rain - some parts had up to 40mm!

It was a great week’s holiday, and everyone seemed to enjoy themselves. It’s also great to see Club members willing to take their older bikes on a long run like this. My 1951 BMW 500 did 1200kms and I missed out on a couple of the short rides, so most would have done a bit more.

We couldn’t have done the ride without the back-up vehicles - Thanks Chris, Garry, Reg, Phil and Betty.
See ya next year.

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